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Today's quote:

Monday, August 17, 2015

The myth of island living


The dream of an island paradise is often a myth. Rather than idyllic, they are frequently the settings for border conflict, prisons and broken dreams. The reality of island living is much more like hard work.

Living on an island does not measure up to what most people's expectation of living on an island is. People buy with the dream, the aspiration that they're going to sit on the front verandah drinking pina coladas at 4 o'clock in the afternoon when they realise, 'Hang on, I've got to go and turn the septic system on. Hang on, we've run out of milk.' Right? It's those sorts of things that people forget.

The kind of people who want to go to an island that is cut off, think they can escape convention, or they won't be so influenced by society's conventional mores, and they've got more freedom to do what they like. In reality on a small island everyone is on top of each other. And all those strong personalities have to get on together. It's a challenge.

That small town surveillance is what people love and hate about small island communities. People look for isolation, a refuge, but what they often find is the opposite. If you share a small island with other people, it's hard to avoid them.

Listen to Radio National's Background Briefing here (and read the whole transcript here).